November 3 Energy News

November 3, 2017


¶ “We already know which grid fixes can keep lights on during bad storms. Here are 3.” • There are solutions available on the market today that can reduce the impact of weather related grid outages. Here are three cost-effective grid improvements that could keep the lights on for more people during future storms. [Environmental Defense Fund]

Building a solar microgrid (US Army Corps of Engineers image)

¶ “Puerto Rico Suffers While Defending Against ‘Disaster Capitalism'” • Over a month after Hurricane Maria hit, most of Puerto Rico remains dark. Its 3.5 million US citizens struggle to obtain the basic essentials of life, and many are leaving the island for the mainland. There are people coming to the island, though: disaster capitalists. [Common Dreams]

How can I help the people of Puerto Rico? One way is
to donate at [Sunnyside Solar’s crowdfunding website].

¶ “Renewables Are Starting to Crush Aging US Nukes, Coal Plants” • In parts of the US, it has become a less expensive proposition to build new solar and wind farms and use their power than to keep the existing, and aging, fleet of coal and nuclear generators producing electricity, according to financial adviser Lazard Ltd. [Bloomberg]

Wind farm construction (Photo: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg)

Science and Technology:

¶ The yearly average levels of atmospheric CO2 rose up to 403.3 parts per million in 2016, but methane levels rose fairly rapidly also, according to a report from the World Meteorological Organization. With scientific reserve, the scientists involved said that they do not know why atmospheric methane levels are rising rapidly. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Climate deniers’ new dodge: ‘All energy matters’ + ‘Very fine scientists on both sides'” • Trump’s nominee to lead NASA, asked about climate change, admitted that it is already destructive and caused by greenhouse gases. But he said scientists disagree about the ultimate cause. A leaked report from federal agencies says humans cause 93% to 123% of it. [Red, Green, and Blue]



¶ A quarter of all global refining capacity could be stranded and forced to close by 2035 if demand continues to fall and climate regulations and rapid clean technology advances continue to impose themselves, according to a new report, Margin Call: Refining Capacity in a 2° C World, published this week by Carbon Tracker. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Windpower provided a record 24.6% of the EU’s electricity demand on October 28, according to WindEurope. The new high broke the previous record of 19.9% set on October 7. Onshore wind accounted for 21.8% of EU power demand and offshore wind for 2.8%. Danish windpower provided 109% of the national needs. [Renewables Now]

Wind farm in Hamburg (Photo: ID-een, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ An explosion at a newly commissioned unit of a coal-fired power plant in northern India killed 29 people and injured 85. Flue gases and steam were released by the blast at NTPC Ltd’s Unchahar power plant, the company said. NTPC shut the unit, which began operations in September, but the rest of the facility is still operating. [Energy Voice]

¶ Australia’s largest cities could begin experiencing extreme heatwaves with 50° C (122° F) temperatures within the relatively near term, possibly 20 years, even if international climate change and greenhouse gas emissions reductions goals are met, according to a recent study published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. []

Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ Nigeria must use its oil wealth to prepare for a future when the world no longer runs on fossil fuels, the country’s vice president said. He said the nation, an OPEC member, needed to develop renewable energy and help other businesses flourish as the significance of oil dwindles. “It is no longer a question of if but when,” he said. []

¶ Microsoft confirmed it will use wind energy to power its international data center in Holland. It has signed a deal to source 100% of the output produced from Vattenfall’s new onshore wind farm, being developed at Wieringermeer polder, from 2019. The data center provides local cloud services and extra global capacity. [Innovators Magazine]

Wind turbine


¶ Louisville, Kentucky, has problems with air pollution, and some areas of the city are worse than others. Residents in the poorer neighborhoods of Louisville, those closest to Louisville’s industrial areas, have life expectancy that is 11 years shorter than those in more upscale neighborhoods where trees, parks, and green spaces are common. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The states of Massachusetts, New York, and Rhode Island released reports setting out contexts for development of offshore windpower in the Northeast and revealing potential economic benefits. The Northeast could see offshore wind deployment of between 4,000 and 8,000 MW by 2030, creating up to 36,000 jobs. [Offshore Wind Journal]

Offshore wind farm

¶ US Energy Secretary Rick Perry suggested that the expansion of fossil fuel use in Africa would help protect people there from sexual assault. The comment was followed by a swift rebuke from environmental activists. The Sierra Club, which campaigns for increased use of wind and solar power, called for Perry to resign. [The Japan Times]

¶ The nascent market for electric cars will suffer a big setback if the Republican tax plan enters into law. Among the changes to the current tax code would be an end to the Plug-In Electric Drive Vehicle Credit, the tax incentive that you can get from the IRS when you purchase a new battery or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. [Ars Technica]

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